Eco-Camp � A case study for sustainable development through by lst6KUYi


                                  Dr. Atul Borgohain,
                             Deptt. of Extension Education
              College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University
                         Khanapara, Guwahati -781022,Assam


An Eco-camp was established in 1994 on the bank of Jia Bhoreli river, Nameri

National Park in between Lat. 26o53’N and 27o02N and Long. 92o39E to 92o5SE

adjoins the highway to Tawang on Assam Arunachal Pradesh boundary. It was

pitched with initial financial support from North East Council (NEC), Government of

India and donation from association members. The district administration and

Department of Forest & Wildlife, Government of Assam were also a part of the

administration and management of the Eco camp. The camp was initially set up to

promote angling tourism founded on the values of Eco and Endogenous tourism. As

the activities progressed, gradually it started creating sustainable employment

generation, provided diversified direct and indirect income to the local villagers,

improved the farming potentials, developed village marketing and provided much

needed entrepreneurial attitudes As a whole there was a sea change in generation of

livelihood and sustainability of the people and development of the place. The impact

was environmental well being, Social well-being, cultural well-being and Economic


Key words:

Angling, endogenous, tourism, eco and rural tourism, sustainable development, North

East Council, Anthropogenic, .UNDP

         Endogenous or Transformative Tourism encompasses- Eco and Rural Tourism

not for leisure alone but also broadening the visitors experience platform, where

visitor’s attraction lies within the host community and local environment. It attempts

to transform attitude and mindsets, imparting local prides and visitor’s appreciation of

cultural heritage and bio diversity. (UNDP 2003)

   Rural Tourism is a showcase of rural art, culture, heritage and rural life, including

the farming patterns, livestock rearing methods, Rural Tourism is essentially any

activity which takes place in the country side, experience oriented locations are

sparsely populated with reduced anthropogenic pressure (Nation Tourism Project

Standing Committee Report 2002) .It is pre dominantly in natural environment, it

meshes      with    seasonality,    local   events       and   based   on   culture   and

tradition.(Mali,D.D.2004) . It is multi-faced and may entail farm/agricultural tourism,

cultural tourism, nature tourism, adventure tourism, or eco tourism as against

conventional tourism. And Angling is a major component of Eco Tourism which is

broadly classified under the Endogenous Rural tourism

The basic objectives of endogenous rural tourism are-

        Build capacity at the local level, enabling the low-income village communities

         create and articulate their skill from within

        Initiate location specific models of community tourism enterprise- including

         sustainable development through farming activities.

        Build strong community (Public)– private partnership – in (PPP model).

        Support innovation and promising rural tourism initiative with agricultural

         farming and marketing components.


    Natural environment,

    Experience oriented

    Local specific

    Seasonality

    Local events ,based on presentation of culture, heritage and tradition.

    Socio-economic development and income generation, education, awareness,

      hygiene and sanitation. (Baruah, R; Borgohain A ,1999)

   A successful experiment in developing eco-tourism

   1.Eco-tourism minimizes the conflicts between resources of tourism and

   livelihood of the local inhabitants,

   2.It involves local community for sustainable development.

   3.Type and scale of tourism is compatible with environment, socio cultural life of

   the inhabitants.(Borgohain,A.2000).

      The Eco Camp was set up in the year 1994, with a small financial assistance

   from North East Council(NEC), specifically for development of Angling as a

   Sport and Tourism activity. The grant was made to the Assam (Bhorelli) Angling

   & Conservation Association, and Rs 3.92 Lakh was sanctioned for setting up of

   the camp. It was subject to approval of the Government of Assam, who was to

   provide the necessary land in the relevant area to the Association. The State

   Government accordingly provided land under the jurisdiction of the department of

   Forest and Wildlife for use by the Association in executing the said project. The

   land provided was at Potasali, adjacent to the Range Office of the Nameri

   National Park. The Nameri National Park is perhaps the only National Park where

   regulated angling is allowed, on a catch, record and release basis.

    Angling is allowed for members of the association as well as temporary

members whom the Association recommends for angling permits. .The camp

initially had 12 double-bedded Swiss Cottage Tents. 2 huts, 1 dormitory,

management huts, utility huts, 25 rubbers rafts and other essential equipments. It

has space for additional camping areas also. A couple of local Mising huts are also

available to tourists for accommodation purpose. These provides facilities to

national, international tourists, anglers, as well as rafters to float down the river Jia

Bhoreli from about 20 km upstream, to the disembarkation points near the Eco

Camp. In the process a large numbers of local villagers are employed The Camp

has gained popularity substantially over the years and formed an important part of

the tourist circuit in North Eastern India.

    Maintenance of the Eco- Camp, to say the least, is an expensive affair, the

skilled and unskilled villagers get opportunities for lively hood generations,

working for the camp. The structure are temporary, and are open to the elements,

especially during the monsoon season. Substantial repair work has to be effected

once the rains cease providing employment to the local people of the area, and the

angling and tourist     season comments. Since the Association is a non-profit

organisation, all the earnings are ploughed back for improvement of local area,

maintenance camp and development              work which creates huge employment

opportunities for the local people.

Original Objectives of the camp

•   Camping

•   Heritage & Culture

•   Angling

•   Rafting / Float Trip

•   Wildlife viewing

•   Nature trek

•   Research and Educational activities

New Broad Objectives were formed later

•   Community based sustainable development of the area

•   Development and diffusion of environmental friendly application

•   Improvement of the quality of life

•   Adaptability to the natural system

•   Limiting the resource use and wastage.

•   Minimum anthropogenic pressure on resources. (Borgohain. A,2006)

Management of the Eco Camp

    The Eco Camp is a joint effort of the Association and the Department of

Forests and Wildlife, Government of Assam. The Divisional Forest Officer,

Western Assam Wildlife Division, based at Tezpur, 36 km away, is the Chairman

of the Managing Committee. The Deputy Commissioner of Sonitpur District, also

stationed at Tezpur is in the Advisory Committee. The Range Officer, Nameri

National Park represents the DFO in montorning day-to-day activities. Financial

decisions are taken by the executive committee of the Association, comprising of

twelve members.

Interventions undertaken by the Association (in addition to the ones prescribed

by the North East Council for the Eco Camp project are as follows-)

 Medical camp for the local villagers as well as for the wildlife staff.

 Extension Camps (twice annually) for the fringe villages for up-scaling the

 Animal Husbandry activities by the Extension Education Deptt. College of
  Vety Sc.

 Veterinary camp of wildlife department elephants and also for forming

   immune belt around the park by vaccination of the livestock in the fringe areas

   in association with Extension Education Deptt College of Vety Sc.

 Research and awareness camps with National Bureau of Fish Genetics

   Research, Lucknow, Directorate of Cold water Fisheries (ICAR) Bhimtal,

   Department of Zoology, Guwahati University, Life Science department of

   Dibrugarh University and members of the Association.

 Establishment of GoldenMahseer (Tor putitor) Hatchery in collaboration with

   DCFR(ICAR) Bhimtal

 Employment generation for the local tribal people. Manpower development

   /training in house keeping ,skill development as tour /wildlife/guide ,birding

 Record keeping creel census. Regular records are maintained of the angling

   activities of the area, with a view to providing census. Every angler is required

   to fill up a report at the end of each day’s angling, specifying the fish caught,

   the weight, the conditions in which the fish were caught etc. illegal activity

   noticed is also reported.

 Aforestation schemes are also undertaken by the members of the Association.

   creating awareness of the need to preserve flora and fauna is very much a part

   of the objectives of the Association.

 Encouragement of Tourism- Rafting, Trekking, Wildlife-sighting, ethnic

   village visits

 Helping in undertaking research works

 Nature camps for students

 Popularization of Angling Tourism by promoting mass media products like

   documentaries/ films, articles in newspapers and magazines. (Soni V,2004)

Impact of the Eco Camp in the local area

        Employment generation

        Income generation

        Education and exposure

        Hygiene and Sanitation

        Conservation and Awareness

        Positive attitude towards development and social change

        Enforce the rules and regulations of protected areas. (Mahanata & Tyagi 2004)


   •     Angling Record Generation

   •     Anti Poaching Mechanism

   •     Employment Generation and manpower development

   •     Regular Cash flow

   •     Tourist inflow for Income Generation

   •   Establishment of Golgen Mahseer Hatchery (Only one in entire North Eastern
       of India)
    Employment Generation (2008-2009) total population of the surrounding
   villages are approximately twelve hundred

         Categories                                         Man Days
       Directly employed in the camp            = 7770 (37 x30x7month) man days
       Seasonal worker                          = 1050 (30x7x5 month)
       Construction work                        =2160 (24 men x 90 days)
       Material collection                      =750 (25 men x 30 days)
       Clearing + Plantation                    = 400 (man days)
       Collection of drift wood & tour-guide    = 600 (man days)
       ESTIMATED TOTAL MAN DAYS                 =12,730 (man days)
The average man days created among the local inhabitants is about 11days per
person in one year excluding the indirect benefits of the area

Indirect Employment Through

      Handloom & handicraft

      Development of village market

      Development of poultry farm and other livestock rearing

      Vegetable and Fruit Cultivation

      Organic farming

      Approximately        6500 man days

Sources of Revenue:


      Boat Hire Charges

      Temporary Membership

      Catering Charges

Revenue Earning ( In Lakhs)

                  Year           Rs. In Lakhs
                 2000-01                5.45
                 2001-02                6.43
                 2003-04                7.13
                 2004-05                11.34
                 2005-06                17.68
                 2006-07                24.64
                 2007-08                25.3
                 2008 09                27.7

      The main source of income to meet the expenses incurred in the running and

maintenance of the ECO Camp is accommodation. Rafting, and catering

Tourist inflow From 1st April 2001 till March 31, 2009   Foreign –3589, Indian –

15256 day boarder 7160

Approach for New Initiative

   •   Policy formulation for Sustainable Rural Tourism Projects

   •   Identification of areas for Promotion appropriate place of tourist interest.

   •   Demonstration and capacity building for peoples’ participation in the area.

   •   Infrastructure creation for the intended tourist and facelift of the area.

   •   Formulation of rules for running the programme (Das, Moitreyee,2000)


It is imperative that sustainable development through the participation of the people of

the areas is a must for overall improvement through educational process of self and

participatory approach. The concept of Rural Tourism developed by the ‘National

Tourism Policy 2002’emphasised the “Counter-Urbanisation” syndrome by

harnessing strong and rich agro-cultural heritage of the Rural India where 74 percent

of India resides in its 7 million villages. The urbanization led to falling income ,

lesser job opportunities, social disparities in the rural areas. Rural tourism is one of

the few activities which can provide some solution to these problems . Besides,

there are other factors which are shifting the trends towards rural tourism like

increasing level of awareness, growing interest in heritage and culture, improve

accessibility, connectivity and environmental consciousness. In developed countries

like Spain, Canada, Scotland, USA etc, this has resulted in a new style of tourism of

visiting villages setting to experience and live a relaxed and healthy lifestyle thus,

creating job opportunities among the rural communities. This concept has taken the

shape of a formal kind of “Rural Tourism in India”by the UNDP and Ministry of

Tourism GOI and the Eco-camp was the brain child of Assam (Bhorelli) Angling and

Conservation Association which initiated a ‘Road Show’ of concepts in the North

East India on Economic wellbeing, Social wellbeing, Cultural wellbeing and

Environmental wellbeing


Baruah, R; Borgohain A (1999) “Dawn of a New Millennium in North East India
Tourism” – Tourism Seminar-cum-Cultural Festival, p. 3-12.

Borgohain.A(2006) ‘Eco-Tourism and Mahseer Angling’Art and Science of Mahseer
Conservation and Mamagement book published by Ministry of Agriculture
ICAR,IFA Mumbai, CIFE Mumbai Tata Power Company Mumbai 2006

Borgohain A (2000) “Tourism Industry and North East”; The North East Review
(NECCI), p. 24-25.

Das, Moitreyee (2000) “Thoughts and Possible Solutions to Develop Tourism in the
North East”; The North East Review (NECCI), p. 35-37.

Mahanata & Tyagi (2004) “An Overview of Participatory Approach for Fish
Biodiversity Conservation in North East India” Participatory Approach for Fish
Biodiversity Conservation in NE Region, NBFGR, ICAR, p. 3-15.

Mali, D.D.(2004)“Policy Support for Conservation of Aquatic Resources in the North
Eastern Region (2004) Participatory Approach for Fish Biodiversity Conservation in
NE Region, NBFGR, ICAR, p. 72-79.

Soni V (2004) “Masheer Conservation: Need, Priorities and Approach” Participatory
Approach for Fish Biodiversity Conservation in NE Region, NBFGR, ICAR, p. 336-

UNDP (2003) Govt of India(GOI) UNDP programme on Endogenous Tourism
Project Report National Tourism Project


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